School is set to start in just a few weeks, but according to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office many local school districts didn’t submit their plans for in-person instruction that were due on July 31. Districts that fail to meet the deadline would not be unable to provide in-person learning this year.
“There are 107 school districts that have not submitted their plan—for those 107 school districts, how they didn’t submit a plan is beyond me. If they don’t submit a plan by this Friday [Aug. 14], they can’t open,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. “The main arbiter here of whether a school district has an intelligent plan to reopen and whether people have confidence in that district’s plan: It’s going to be the parents and it’s going to be the teachers, and that requires discussion, and that’s going to be a dialogue. Parents don’t have to send their child. The parents are responsible for the health and safety of the child, and they’re not going to send the child if they don’t believe the plan makes sense. A teacher is not going to come back into the classroom if they think the classroom is not safe and that’s right. The school district has to have that dialogue by the [Aug.] 21st to fully comply with our rules.”
Out of the 107 school districts that didn’t submit their in-person learning plans, the Mineola School District was one of them, which the district denies.
“We submitted our plans on time and have a receipt from NYSED,” Mineola Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Nagler said in a statement to Anton Media Group. “In addition, our plans have been posted on our website since July 31. From when closed in March right through today, Mineola Union Free School District has understood that the process of reopening would involve extensive community outreach. Our district has employed several means of engaging our community stakeholders in conversation about how to reopen safely. We have conducted five parent surveys and held multiple virtual meetings for both our parents and our staff. We did so before Gov. Cuomo announced Friday that school districts were required to do so. We are thankful for working for such a supportive community and our plans reflect their input.”
As part of the safely reopening plan, all students and faculty will be required to wear masks in all situations except during a designated mask break. Principals will work with teachers to establish mask breaks that will occur only when six feet social distance can be maintained. Nurses will provide information to staff and students on proper use, removal and washing of face guards too. The protocol also applies to any visitors approved to enter the building after completing the affirmation.
The district will also maintain a cleaning schedule that comports with all CDC recommended guidelines and products. Principals have coordinated with each head custodian to establish frequent cleanings in all classrooms and trafficked areas. All surfaces such as door handles, bathrooms, and table/desk surfaces will be wiped down several times during the day.
Visit www.mineola.k12.ny.us to read the full reopening plan.